How to cite sources properly

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Defining citations, the main sources types and how to cite sources properly in academic writing

What is a citation?

Almost every academic paper written by students contains citations. These are words, phrases, sentences by other researchers or writers rewritten accurately from the original source and accompanied by the name of the author and the year of its release. All the details about the source a citation is taken from is provided in the list of references.

The main goal of using citing is to confirm the credibility and authority of the research conducted. Using citations you show that your viewpoint is shared by other experts. They help readers to understand how you have come to the following conclusions and give credit to people who have researched this topic too.

This information also allows readers to find offered by the written statement in the original source, as writing paper it is important to indicate all the information necessary to find a book.

Another reason to cite sources properly is a necessity to avoid accusations of plagiarism. Many writing tips on preventing plagiarism mention properly cited sources so the use of all necessary marks is incredibly important.

To cite or not to cite

There are several conditions in paper writing when citations should be placed undoubtedly. They are:

A direct quotation from the original source;

Providing a summary or paraphrasing of the ideas, thoughts, concepts of another writer;

Mentioning any data, facts or other accurate information in the text;

Inclusion of images, charts, tables, graphs or any other visual material.

There is also information that can not be cited in academic writing. Usually, this is common knowledge – information known to a huge number of people. However, this information can be questioned so if you are not confident whether you can consider it a common knowledge or not, you had better cite it too.

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Types of sources

Students are advised to use different sources writing thesis or any other academic paper. In general, there are three main types of sources to be used:

Primary sources – original texts, prints, images, artifacts, documents, audio-visual materials that are available in their natural form, digitized, reproduced or reprinted version.

Secondary sources – texts written by other authors about primary sources. A writer can comment, discuss or interpret the original material in various written forms. These might be articles, essay samples, textbooks, encyclopedias, reviews, commentaries etc.

Peer-reviewed sources – authoritative and credible scholarly articles published in the scientific publications and accompanied by author credentials, list of references, bibliography, visual materials and containing complex terminology characteristic of the field.

Tips on citing sources

There are several important tips to consider when you need to add a citation including:

The source should be cited both in-text and in the reference list. In-text citations are usually characterized by the name of the author and year of publication added.

You should use a citation style used in your educational institution. There are several most popular citation styles such as APA, MLA, AMA, Chicago etc.

Follow the suitable style guide not to miss any important details.

Opt for citation software to check how well you have coped with your citations, bibliography, and references.

Be consistent in using a single style throughout the whole paper.

These simple pieces of advice will help every student to make his citations perfect and contribute to the best grade of the paper.

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